Its hard to believe that its been 7 years since Serenity came out, and 10 since Firefly was on our screens. Not that I watched it when it was. I was one of the many who had enjoyed (for the most part) Joss Whedons Buffy and Angel, and when Id heard he was starting work on a new sci-fi show, its fair to say I wasnt that enthusiastic. Its a genre I dont particularly care for, and I felt he should be concentrating on the world I had already invested in. How wrong I was. When I finally got round to watching Firefly it was already off the air, and yet by the time I had finished the first (and only) season I was hooked. Screaming defiance at Fox for having cancelled the program, I joined the hordes of fans prowling the internet and even signed a Bring Firefly Back petition. However, it became more and more obvious as the years went on that Serenity was all the closure we were going to get. The show isnt coming back; the world has moved on - so why am I writing this article?
Well, firstly, if theres anyone out there whos yet to watch Firefly, then Id like to take this opportunity to persuade you to do so. Its an exceptional program, and while not everyone gets it, its well worth taking the time to try it out. Right now. Dont even finish the article first, as it contains some spoilers. Go and watch the show. Gone? Good.
Now that thats out the way, we can get on with the business of examining exactly what made the show so compelling. This is going to be more than the adoring, incoherent babble of a committed fan (although thats almost inevitably going to occur as well). Its also an attempt to isolate the strongest points of the series and hopefully have a think about what makes great television. For any aspiring script-writers, that's always worth doing.
Laurence Gardner was born in Canterbury, England. After moving around various cities during his childhood, and spending some time travelling in Europe and America, he studied English Literature at Oxford University. Since then, he’s been living abroad, teaching English, learning a range of languages, and writing in his free time. He can currently be found in Heidelberg, working as an English Tutor and Translator and studying at the University. If you liked this article, follow him on Twitter to get automatic updates on his work.See more from Laurence